Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Seeing Myself in Him

Have you ever felt disqualified? Inadequate?  Rejected? Or even unloved?
Well, Zaccheaus did.  The Bible tells us in Luke 19 that he was a chief tax collector and  wealthy but also a short man.  So here I see a man, who according to society, has a lot going for him, but not enough.  

Yet Zaccheaus wanted to see Jesus.  Why?  Why did he want to see Jesus so urgently?  I could imagine that Zaccheaus had heard a lot about Jesus, his miracles, and his teachings.  Zaccheaus may have thought, "Like me, this man has a lot going for him, but how does he look?  Does he look like a supermodel or does he look like me?"  This curiosity was so great in Zaccheaus that when he heard Jesus would be passing by, he overcame his height disadvantage by running ahead of the crowd and climbing a tree jsut to get a glance of the Master.  

I can imagine that when he saw Jesus, he thought, "This man is like me!  He has a lot going for him, but according to society not enough.  If God can use him, He can use me!"  You see the Bible tells us in Isaiah 53:2, 
"He grew up before him like a tender shoot, 
       and like a root out of dry ground. 
       He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, 
       nothing in his appearance that we should desire him."

So when Zaccheaus saw Jesus, he could definitely relate to Him.  More importantly, aren't you glad we have a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15)?

According to society, Jesus was not beautiful, but it was wrong, just like it was wrong about Zaccheaus. According to society, Zaccheaus wasn't worth much, he was a sinner.  But what did Jesus say about him? Jesus said in Luke 19: 9-10, "9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."  Wow! Jesus didn't look at Zaccheaus' appearence, He looked at his heart.

Today, it is easy to look at outward appearances and focus on them.  And although Zaccheaus wanted to see Jesus, the Bible tells us he obeyed him (he immediately got down from the tree), welcomed him gladly, and converted (he makes him Lord of his life by confessing his sin and repenting of it). Let us not get so focused on who we are, how we look, what we have or don't.  Let us look for and find our identity in Jesus!

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14